Monday, June 15, 2015

A Biblical Tribute To Gay Pride Month

Every year at this time the headlines ring with the news related to what is lauded as “Gay Pride Month”. Given the advances of the gay agenda over the course of the last few years, gay-pride parades have become a fashionable rage complete with corporate and political sponsorship. Many retailers are now quick to proudly advertise their allegiance to gay pride via the multicolored rainbow as a symbol of their acquiescence. In the midst of this gay-pride panacea, I have always marveled at the operative word in the title — pride. With that in mind, I did a quick word search in my digital Bible to trace the theme of pride in all its forms throughout both testaments. The verses below paint a fairly abysmal portrait of the general theme of pride, and yet they aren’t exhaustive as I excluded some 40 verses for the sake of space.

What does emerge from a study of this nature is anything but a flatteringly portrayal of those who pride themselves in being proud. In surveying the different word groups in the original languages (Hebrew and Greek), that are translated ‘pride’ or ‘proud’, the following definition is offered: Pride is defined as an exaggerated sense of one’s own self-importance leading to self–preeminence. This results in a flagrant defiance of and revolt against God and His will. So pride then serves as the platform for the sinner’s revolution against God and His stated standards. In short, pride makes us all enemies of the one who created us. 

It must be emphasized that pride is a corruption that taints us all as sinners. It afflicts us all. It leaves no stone unturned in our lives. It has many different forms and manifests itself in many different ways — gay pride being only one such manifestation. In prophetic literature, in the Old Testament, religious pride is what is showcased with a disobedient people championing their stated desires and will above God’s. All of which led to the grizzly end of Assyrian captivity in the north, for the northern kingdom, and Babylonian captivity in the south for Jerusalem and Judea. It is noteworthy that in their self-aggrandized rebellion against God, the ancient Hebrews incorporated licentious fertility rites into the corpus of their worship — their version of the ancient sexual revolution. Pride leads straight to perversity.

So it is telling when those rebelling against God so willingly include “pride” as they key component of their title. But as the verses here declare, this is nothing one should so brazenly applaud:     

Leviticus 26:19 “‘I will also break down your pride of power; I will also make your sky like iron and your earth like bronze.’” 

Deuteronomy 8:14 “then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” 

1 Samuel 2:3 “Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.” 

2 Chronicles 32:25 “But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem.” 

Job 35:12 “There they cry out, but He does not answer Because of the pride of evil men.” 

Job 38:11 “And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?” 

Job 40:11 “Pour out the overflowings of your anger, And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.” 

Job 40:12 “Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him, And tread down the wicked where they stand.” 

Job 41:34 “He looks on everything that is high; He is king over all the sons of pride.” 

Psalm 10:2 “In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.”

Psalm 17:10 “They have closed their unfeeling heart, With their mouth they speak proudly.”

Psalm 31:18 “Let the lying lips be mute, Which speak arrogantly against the righteous With pride and contempt.” 

Psalm 40:4 “How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.” 

Psalm 56:2 “My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me.” 

Psalm 59:12 “On account of the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips, Let them even be caught in their pride, And on account of curses and lies which they utter.”

Psalm 73:6 “Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them.” 

Psalm 75:5 “‘Do not lift up your horn on high, Do not speak with insolent pride.’ ” 

Psalm 94:2 “Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.” 

Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.” 

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.” 

Proverbs 15:25 “The Lord will tear down the house of the proud, But He will establish the boundary of the widow.” 

Proverbs 16:5 “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.” 

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.” 

Proverbs 16:19 “It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly Than to divide the spoil with the proud.” 

Proverbs 21:4 “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.” 

Proverbs 21:24 “‘Proud,’ ‘Haughty,’ ‘Scoffer,’ are his names, Who acts with insolent pride.”

Proverbs 29:23 “A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.” 

Isaiah 2:11 “The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” 

Isaiah 2:12 “For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning Against everyone who is proud and lofty And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased.” 

Isaiah 2:17 “The pride of man will be humbled And the loftiness of men will be abased; And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day” 

Isaiah 3:16 “Moreover, the Lord said, “Because the daughters of Zion are proud And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, And go along with mincing steps And tinkle the bangles on their feet,”

Isaiah 5:15 “So the common man will be humbled and the man of importance abased, The eyes of the proud also will be abased.”

Isaiah 13:11 “Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless.”

Isaiah 13:19 “And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans’ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” 

Isaiah 16:6 “We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride; Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury; His idle boasts are false.” 

Isaiah 28:1 “Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim, And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty, Which is at the head of the fertile valley Of those who are overcome with wine!” 

Isaiah 28:3 “The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is trodden under foot.”

Jeremiah 13:17 “But if you will not listen to it, My soul will sob in secret for such pride; And my eyes will bitterly weep And flow down with tears, Because the flock of the Lord has been taken captive.” 

Jeremiah 48:29 “We have heard of the pride of Moab—he is very proud— Of his haughtiness, his pride, his arrogance and his self-exaltation.” 

Ezekiel 16:56 “As the name of your sister Sodom was not heard from your lips in your day of pride …” 

Ezekiel 33:28 “I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and the pride of her power will cease; and the mountains of Israel will be desolate so that no one will pass through.”

Daniel 4:37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

Daniel 5:20 “But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became so proud that he behaved arrogantly, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken away from him.” 

Hosea 7:10 “Though the pride of Israel testifies against him, Yet they have not returned to the Lord their God, Nor have they sought Him, for all this.” 

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.” 

Zephaniah 2:10 “This they will have in return for their pride, because they have taunted and become arrogant against the people of the Lord of hosts.”

Zephaniah 3:11 “In that day you will feel no shame Because of all your deeds By which you have rebelled against Me; For then I will remove from your midst Your proud, exulting ones, And you will never again be haughty On My holy mountain.” 

Zechariah 10:11 “And they will pass through the sea of distress And He will strike the waves in the sea, So that all the depths of the Nile will dry up; And the pride of Assyria will be brought down And the scepter of Egypt will depart.” 

Mark 7:21-22 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” 

Luke 1:51 “He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.” 

James 4:6 “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” 

1 Peter 5:5 “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 

1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” 

In light of this avalanche of Scripture, 20 statements are derived based on these verses that help describe the scourge of pride: 

·         Pride is state of mind that establishes a mindset.
·         Pride produces related actions in accord with its mindset.
·         Pride expresses itself aggressively and actively.
·         Pride is actively hostile to God: all that He is and all for which He stands.
·         Pride serves as its own judgment while it gradually consumes the proud.
·         Pride adorns one’s lifestyle and serves as a garment that defines one’s life.
·         Pride is closely associated with insolence, ostentation, and arrogance.
·         Pride celebrates defiance of established norms.
·         Pride does not go unnoticed or unpunished by God.
·         Sodom was synonymous with pride.
·         Pride is presumptuous as it presumes to favor self at the expense of others.
·         Pride flows from a depraved mind and will.
·         Pride boasts in what is shallow and hollow.
·         Pride distorts and perverts what is sacred.
·         Pride corrupts the secular realm and its leaders.
·         Pride promotes self-will over God’s divine will.
·         Pride is what defines all those who oppose God and His means of salvation.
·         Humility is the stark contrast to pride and is the hallmark of all who truly know and love God.
·         Pride is the enemy of God’s grace.
·         Pride is nothing to praise or celebrate.

In retrospect, the LGBT might want to reconsider the name of their annual festival of sexual frivolity, even if it is scripturally apropos. For the weight of God’s Word leaves no ambiguity about God’s verdict on pride of any kind, including gay pride. And those pastors, churches, and denominations that have slapped their seal of approval upon gay pride, might want to reconsider in light of the Lord’s strident disapproval of their pro-gay-pride stance. Such apostasy is an echo of ancient Israel’s distortion of God’s commands, and will not lead to happily-ever-after. In short, God hates pride in whatever form it takes. He opposes the proud, but He will extend grace to the humble — those who have humbled themselves at foot of His Son’s cross through confession of their sin while they plead for His saving grace!  So while pride makes us all enemies of the Lord, it is His love and grace that conquers all, including our sin with its pride: 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us … For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:8&10) 

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach”. (Colossians 1:21–22)

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